Directed by Leo McCarey, this 1939 romantic classic is the first and best version of the old warhorse of a fateful shipboard romance between an aimless playboy and a nightclub singer, both engaged but appearing to be destined to reunite on the top floor of the Empire State Building.
The elaborate, shot-for-shot 1957 remake again directed by McCarey with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr is much better known, and Warren Beatty even saw fit to remake it yet again with his wife Annette Bening for a 1994 update featuring an 87-year old Katharine Hepburn in her last film role.
February 1, 2012 Subject:
A Surprisingly Touching Film
Hopefully this will not post more than once...I was trying to edit my comment! This was a great film and I was pleasantly surprised by Charles Boyer. Both he and Irene Dunne were excellent. Their chemistry was spot on and believable. The dialogue was snappy. My only beef is the final line of the movie..kinda dumb. The remake was "An Affair to Remember' with Deborah Kerr and Cary Grant, which was a much inferior film IMO...no chemistry between the stars. But this one is a keeper. This is also on this site as an MP3 under Lux Radio Theater or Screen Director's Playhouse, with Irene Dunne.
Reviewer:Dark Moon -
June 18, 2011 Subject:
So many films and novels focus on the darkest aspects of human nature that it is refreshingly different to see something like this. Nothing "Pollyanna" that puts the viewer at risk for getting cavities, this is reasonably credible, and very human.
Charles Boyer plays the stereotypical womanizing playboy Frenchman, until he gets hooked and things turn serious. Irene Dunne gets all the best lines, with things like:
"My mother told me never to enter a man's room in any month ending in 'r'."
"Have you been getting results with a line like that, or would I be surprised?"
"You can just imagine how attractive he is when I can resist so charming a person as you."
"Instead of Mother Goose, you were probably brought up on the memoirs of Casanova. You've heard of the little fellow, haven't you?"
"I imagine you've known quite a few women, haven't you? Or maybe 'few' is the wrong word. And I gather you haven't very much respect for them."
The one I liked best was when some snoopy gossip was trying to listen in unobtrusively on her conversation...
"Parlez vous igpay atinlay?" :D
Things change when the ship stops at Madeira, Charles goes to visit his grandmother, and Irene is invited along. In one of the highpoints of the film (IMO), Irene discovers that, under the playboy exterior, there lives a real human being with some unexpected fine qualities. She becomes seriously interested, and things proceed from there.
I haven't seen the remakes so I have nothing to compare, but I enjoyed this film very much. The print quality (video and audio both) are better than many other films here on IA, and the encoding is clean, with no pixelation or artifacts.
November 8, 2009 Subject:
Love Affair (1939) - the original, the best.
Leo McCarey's 1939 film, Love Affair, is a love story of rare beauty starring Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer. Most prints of this film are mediocre, but it would be a delight to see it restored to its original debut as viewed in theatres in 1939. A memorable romance classic, enjoy!
August 30, 2009 Subject:
just as good
The film stands up well to the glossier version made some 20 years later.
The casting was good although it is a testament to the ageless Cary Grant that he could probably have starred in both versions.